The second stage of the Camino de Santiago Francés as it passes through Galicia, part of Triacastela. Its name could come from “Tres castros”: Triacastela, Lagares and San Adrián, although it could also be due to the three castles that are said to have existed in the area and of which nothing is preserved today. Surrounded by valleys and meadows, this municipality is made up of eight parishes, with their corresponding population centers and villages.
Already with Alfonso IX the town shows its importance when being granted diverse exemptions to him consolidating itself like important nucleus of the Way of Santiago, being mentioned even in the Codice Calixtino. Fernando III the Saint gathered in Triacastela the municipalities of Galicia and there is also evidence of the visit of the Catholic Monarchs and Philip II to such an important town.
The origin of Triacastela is indisputably linked to the Camino de Santiago. The three main roads interconnect with each other through narrow streets known as vielas.
Alfonso IX founded the town of Triacastela in 1228, located in a strategic place, at the end of the eleventh stage of the Way, thus mentioned in the Calixtino Codex. This Calixtinian Codex is a “guide to the Camino de Santiago”, but in the old way. We must not forget that we are talking about something that was written in the twelfth century and that constitutes the most famous medieval codex of the Jacobean pilgrimage.
What to see in Triacastela
Beyond the main street that could be from any place devoid of personality, Triacastela keeps some interesting secrets and is a relief for many pilgrims who begin to descend after overcoming the highest elevations of the French Way in the Cebreiro area
Ramil’s centennial chestnut tree
Just before reaching Triacasela, you will find the Ramil district. There, a large chestnut tree over eight hundred years old greets the pilgrims.
Church of Santiago de Triacastela and the mosaic
This church fuses a clearly recognizable Baroque part (18th century) with a Romanesque apse. It is located in a different place than the so-called Old Church. It is one of the few churches on the Camino de Santiago section in Galicia that is dedicated to the Apostle Santiago
This path is actually a river promenade on the banks of the Oribio River, between low houses and orchards that are a haven of peace.
The Bridge House
Old smithy of the locality. It is located next to the road, following the path through San Xil.
Following the Camino Suavila, the dovecote is another of the points of interest to see in Triacastela. It is one of the most characteristic constructions in the town, with a circular floor plan and a conical slate roof.
Former pilgrim hospital
Even today the building functions as a house, it is another of the icons of Triacastela, where pilgrims with health problems were cared for in the past.
The Monument to the Pilgrim: It is located next to the public hostel and bids farewell to the pilgrim as he leaves the village.